Anibal open to filling whatever role Tigers need

Anibal open to filling whatever role Tigers need

MINNEAPOLIS -- Anibal Sanchez threw a second mound session on Tuesday and felt fine, continuing his track toward a return next week. The role to which he'd return, he said, isn't up to him, but he's open to whatever the Tigers need.

"I don't know what the situation is going to be," Sanchez said. "I just want to be ready to pitch for the team, but I don't know that answer."

Sanchez, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since early August with a strained right pectoral muscle, threw the same 25-pitch bullpen session he threw on Monday. Although manager Brad Ausmus said the team will wait and see how Sanchez feels on Wednesday before deciding the next step, Sanchez indicated that he'll likely throw off the mound once more before pitching batting practice or in a simulated game.

"Today was short," Sanchez said. "The next one is going to be a normal bullpen, and after that I'm probably going to face some hitters."

Under that scenario, his return to game action is likely at least a week away, giving him possibly as little as one start before the end of the regular season. He's trying to stretch out his arm so that he can throw as many pitches as possible if he gets a start.

"Building my arm is most important right now, because I know I probably won't be able to throw 100 pitches my first outing," he said. "I need to build my arm without any kind of soreness, any kind of problem, get ready to be on the mound."

The Tigers don't want to push Sanchez too aggressively, fearing a recurrence of the setback he experienced when he neared a return at the end of August.

"It's totally a big difference," Sanchez said. "It's a huge difference, because last time I felt it when I threw, but I thought it was normal for the injury. But right now I don't feel anything. Nothing is uncomfortable there. I get good treatment before I play catch or do any kind of conditioning. Right now I focus on building my arm and getting ready to pitch."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.